Aluminium Fenestration News

’ALUPROF IN THE ANTARCTIC’

Picture above: 2019 Rothera Research Station,  overhead image by British Antarctic Survey/BAM Nuttall

By Wojciech Brozyna – MD of Aluprof UK

With just a population of 2,000, Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest continent on earth, so why would you wish to be there? Well, with governments and society across the globe now coming to terms with the climate change crisis, work has been continuing in the Antarctic with some of the world’s top scientists who are identifying the damage we are causing to our only home.

Back in the mid-1980’s it was scientists in the Antarctic who uncovered the hole in the ozone layer. Consequently, we managed to ban the use of gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in spray cans and refrigerants which break down ozone molecules in the upper atmosphere. The hole in our ozone layer continues to reduce due to the quick action taken across the globe, we now need to do the same for CO2, which is a much greater challenge.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) continues to undertake groundbreaking research and maintains a Research Station located 67º south on Adelaide Island which was established in 1975. Known as Rothera, the busy station is used as a hub for other countries working in the area, offering a landing strip and wharf.

The site has continued to develop over the years and in 2018 work began on the new Discovery Building, named to commemorate the discovery of Antarctica 200 years ago by the British naval officer Edward Bransfield in 1820.

Designed by Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Partnership, which includes construction partner BAM and their team, Hugh Broughton Architects and design consultants Sweco, with Ramboll acting as BAS’s Technical Advisers, with their team NORR architects and Turner & Townsend. The new building replaces some of the current buildings on the site which are close to the end of their economic life.

Construction can only take place in the summer months with the next construction team due to travel to site from the UK in December 2021 and returning in Spring 2022. The construction team returning in March 2021 have successfully completed the groundworks for the new building.

The new operations building will not only offer scientists a far better working environment but will help reduce costs by minimising maintenance and maximising insulation.

The two-storey 4,500m2 building will contain preparation areas for field expeditions, a central store, medical facility, offices, recreational spaces, workshops and areas for plant. High thermal performance windows specified on the project have been provided by Aluprof. The MB-86 ST window and door system has been designed to offer outstanding insulation properties. Offered in three varieties, ST, SI and AERO the MB-86 was the first ever aluminium system to employ silica aerogel, a nano-porous material that has a very high proportion of free void volume compared to conventional solid materials. Aerogel’s high pore volume, low solid content, and its ‘torturous path amorphous structure’ offer very low values of thermal conductivity.

Since setting up the Aluprof Office at the Business Design Centre in London, the company has rapidly grown their specification influence in the UK with their high-performance architectural aluminium systems. Further expansion of the company’s headquarters in Altrincham now provides specifiers with meeting facilities and an extensive showroom of commercial systems to view. With overseas growth across Europe spreading into the Middle East and firm roots already in the East of the USA, the company is becoming a global player in facade supply. Further information is available on the company’s website at aluprof.co.uk or direct from their UK head office in Altrincham on 0161 941 4005.

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